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‘Pathway workshops’ to set knowledge-investment agenda

Annemieke Galema, director of Research & Valorisation at the University of Groningen, about the National Research Agenda:
23 March 2016
Annemieke Galema
Annemieke Galema
Text by Neeltje Miedema, Research & Valorisation

‘It is all hands on deck for knowledge institutions’, says Annemieke Galema. Director of Research & Valorisation at the University of Groningen. ‘By 1 June next, a large part of the national knowledge-investment agenda will have been set, affecting research and innovation for the next several years.’

At the end of last year, the National Research Agenda (NRA) was published, comprising 140 cluster questions and 16 example pathways through those questions. These pathways are the instrument through which the NRA aims to transform society’s important academic, societal and economic issues into researchable themes, and they are being designed at this moment. Using these pathways, the knowledge coalition will set a long-term investment agenda for academic research, which will be completed in the summer of 2016.

When designing a pathway, it is important to exchange ideas with researchers from different disciplines. This exchange will take place in the form of workshops. The steering committee has set Terms of Reference (TOR) for the envisioned yield of the pathways. The results from the pathway workshops must be available to the steering committee by 1 June.

Galema: ‘What started two years ago as an innovative way of involving citizens more in research is now developing into a knowledge-investment agenda with consequences for universities in general and for our researchers in particular. The pathways are reflected, for example, in the NWO programming, the gravitation programme for excellent research and the national roadmap for infrastructure.’

The first step in designing the pathways will be to mobilise a preparatory group for each pathway. The NRA steering committee has divided the organization of the pathway workshops across the parties involved in the knowledge coalition, making a distinction between flagship organizers, lead organizers and co-organizers. Currently, the NRA secretariat is matching names to each of these roles . Applications for participation in any of these workshops do not run through the NRA secretariat but through the organizers of the individual pathway workshops themselves.

New pathways

Alongside the 16 pathways proposed by the NRA steering committee, three new research pathways have recently been added: Energy Transition , Quantum Nano and Sustainable Development Goals. I t is also possible for anyone who wants to to design new pathways . The steering committee will use the results of the pathway workshops to determine how the pathways, both old and new, can inspire additional investments in academia.

Galema: ‘The University of Groningen needs to be prominently present at the relevant pathway workshops in the next few months in order to position its research and valorization profile within the themes. If not, we will miss the boat. Let this be a call, mainly to the faculties, to make sure that they are represented in the pathway workshops and, if possible, to design additional research programmes for submission during the workshops or to the steering committee of the National Research Agenda. The first workshops have already started, so time is running short.’

Route Workshops


Quantum nano

29 March 2016/April date t.b.a.

Regenerative Medicine

30 March 2016

Responsible use of Big Data

5 April 2016

The circular economy and raw material efficiency

6 & 8 April

Energy Transition

5 & 26 April 2016

The origins of life

8 April 2016

Between conflict and cooperation

15 April 2016

Brain, cognition and behaviour: learning, developing and evolving

15 April 2016

Art: research and innovation in the 21st century

15 April 2016

Smart liveable cities

20 April 2016

Te quality of our surroundings: the value(s) of nature & climate

10 May 2015

Health care research, prevention and treatment

18 May 2016

Personalized Medicine

15 April

Building blocks of matter

22 March 2016

Resilient and meaningful societies

11 March & 22 April

Smart Industry

To be announced

Logistics and Transport in an energetic, innovative and sustainable society

13 April

Sustainable Development goals

9 March

Food Security

Has already taken place


If you are planning on designing a new pathway, please first contact Wim de Haas at the NRA secretariat.

More information

Last modified:08 May 2018 11.21 a.m.

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